Barrow Gurney First XI chalked up their first win of the season in emphatic style against Chew Magna. Meanwhile the 2nds competed well at times but ended up on the losing side against Old Park, and the Sunday team were frustrated by a late concession by their opposition.
It was a much sunnier and brighter day as Barrow Firsts arrived at the scenic Chew Court for their game against Chew Magna 2s. Frank Forge won his first league toss of the season and decided to put Chew in.
Mark Fisher and Matt Owen opened and bowled with machine-like accuracy putting the ball on a length outside off relentlessly, resulting in several plays and misses. Eventually Mark (1/19) picked up the first wicket, bowling the Chew opener and Matt (also 1/19) getting the second, a nick off to Bernie Forge behind the stumps.
Premil Fernando, on his first game back with Barrow then bowled in partnership with Frank (2/25) and the scoring continued at a very slow rate. Premil bowled very well hitting the pitch and bowling with great control. At drinks, the team hadn’t conceded a boundary. A floaty off-spinning full toss that got cracked over the road soon put paid to that but all in all Barrow continued with amazing control.
Kieran Owen came on and again continued the squeeze. Bernie seeing a Chew batsman batting outside his crease decided to stand up and took a good stumping off Kieran. Kieran took a wicket with the very next ball nicked off again with Bernie catching it safely, overall Kieran’s figures were 3/27. Premil (3/13) got the final wicket (of the opener Richard Gattan who had batted doggedly throughout the innings for 39) as Barrow bowled Chew out for 109 off of 43 overs.
Frank said afterwards “One big positive this week was how everyone fielded and backed up the accurate bowling which really helped in keeping the run rate so low. A special mention to Guy Fisher who had several good stops at point.”
After tea, Phil Milton and Bernie Forge opened up, and after their hundred partnership last week, they followed it up with a 50 partnership. Phil looked in great form hitting 3 big sixes over the road and looking like he wanted the game over quickly. He was out for a quick-fire 41 at which point Bernie and Ellie Holdaway joined in the first all-female partnership in Barrow’s first team history. They continued scoring at a good run rate without ever looking in trouble as Barrow cruised to the target with only 15.5 overs bowled, Bernie finishing on 26 not out and Ellie 18 not out.
The win propels Barrow to third place in Division 5 at this early stage of the season.
When the 2s arrived at a much warmer Hobbs Lane for this week’s game, they were pleased to find that the new covers had already done a great job in leaving the pitch in good condition despite the torrential rain we had in mid-week. Mike Lilley lost the toss and Barrow found themselves in the field.
Paul Gard and Pete Rooney opened up and again bowled well without any luck, some deliveries being unplayable and far too good to induce a nick at club level, in addition there were a few slashes through wide slip and at least one very close LBW shout but the breakthrough didn’t come and Old Park passed 50 without loss.
Adam Brace entered the fray and in his customary way duly picked up a wicket in his opening over as Old Park reached 80-1 at drinks and looking well placed to accelerate to a 200 plus total. Pasidu Eros (1/31) picked up a wicket with Mark Gracey taking the catch and he bowled well and was energetic in the field sweeping on the boundary for much of the game.
Overall the bowling was much better this week but the fielding was on a different level altogether as epitomised by two truly outstanding moments. Firstly, from Chairman Pete Holdaway who, fielding in the covers, picked up the ball and threw down the stumps at the bowlers end to run out the opposition captain going for a quick single. Then Adam held onto a spectacular one-handed return catch from a firmly struck drive that appeared to be past him before he somehow got a mitt to it, this gave him the best bowling figures on the day of 2/22). Steve Owen (1/41) also charged in manfully up the hill to deliver 8 overs straight through at the death and gave very little to hit whilst bowling a few away swinging pearlers. Old Park closed on 190 -6 after 40 which perhaps was a few less than they had hoped for.
As Barrow went out to bat Pete Holdaway stepped up to open with Ali Hood after Ellie’s promotion to the first team. At drinks Barrow had made 85-2, losing both Ali (30) and Pete(12) but were probably slight favourites at this stage. Shortly after Gracey fell to a run out, it was a tight one and the fielder did well but it was definitely an untimely dismissal and was unfortunately followed, as so often it seems, with a second wicket in the over when Eros nicked one and was superbly caught in the slips.
Roger Finnimore, without being at his fluent best, was digging in and it always felt that Barrow were just one decent partnership away from making a real go of the chase but it never quite happened and the run rate started to climb. Eventually Barrow ended up 38 runs short with Roger top scoring on 44, so picking up 6 bonus batting and bowling points and still looking for a maiden win for the season at Patchway next week.
Beautiful weather and the warmest day of the month so far added to the frustration of the Sunday team as opposition Lympsham and Belvedere could not muster a team, but it was promising that so many players took on the opportunity of an impromptu net session.